Influence of Timing of Prescribed Burn on Native-Warm Season Grass Forage Quality in Tennessee
Mathenia, A.  2011.  M.S. Thesis.

Abstract:
Native warm-season grass stands have the prospective to provide nutritious summer forage in grazing systems. The study examined the influence of timing of prescribed burn on native warm-season grass stands in Tennessee. The purpose of the study was to determine the nutritional quality of forage as it relates to the timing of prescribed burns on native warm-season grass stands in Tennessee. The prescribed burns were conducted in March, April, May, and September. Forage samples were collected at Ames Plantation, West Tennessee Research and Education Center, Bridgestone/Firestone Wildlife Management Area, and Yuchi Wildlife Management Area. These samples were then analyzed for content of moisture, dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), fat, acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, total digestible nutrients (TDN), net energy calculations for lactation (NeL), net energy calculations for maintenance (NeM), net energy calculations for gain (NeG), and relative feed value (RFV). The study found no significant difference in location values, thus the study focused on month of burn and effect on nutritional quality. TDN, NeL, NeM, and NeG were found to have significant statistical differences. For each of the characteristics the timing of prescribed burns returned the same order of months (April, September, Control group, March, and May) from highest to lowest mean of forage quality. Results showed that burning in April returned the most concentrations of total digestible nutrients and net energy. With appropriate management such as timing of burning and grazing, native warm-season grasses could be a valuable forage option for extending summer forages in livestock.